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Anthony Pettis surprised it took Charles Oliveira so long to win UFC title: ‘I’m not a hater’

ARLINGTON, TEXAS — In hindsight, Anthony Pettis’ third round guillotine submission win over Charles Oliveira may be one of the very best on his impressive resume by the time each has walked away from mixed martial arts (MMA).

Meeting in a 145-pound Featherweight encounter — Pettis’ debut in the division — it wound up being only one of two fights “Showtime” had at the weight. Inevitably, both fighters made their way back to Lightweight, where Oliveira has since gone on to dominate and join Pettis as someone who can boast the label of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion.

“I was surprised that it took him this long [to become champion], man,” Pettis told MMAMania.com. “Because when I fought him I was like, ‘Yo, this…’ — at ‘45, he was a little fragile, I was, too. But, seeing him come into his own and use his full skills, his overall striking and jiu-jitsu, he’s well rounded, man. His jiu-jitsu nullifies the wrestling because he’s very dangerous and then his striking is good.

“When I fought him, I was surprised by how technical his kickboxing was so yeah, big ups to him, too,” he continued. “I’m not a hater, bro. I love the fact that he’s where he’s at. I follow him on Instagram, I see what he’s doin,’ I experienced that so I wish everybody could experience that part of that life.”

For Oliveira, it took him 11 years to be able to call himself the king of the mountain after debuting in the Octagon on Aug. 1, 2010. “Do Bronx” achieved his first successful title defense in Dec. 2021, submitting Dustin Poirier in round three via rear-naked choke (watch highlights). This weekend (Sat., May 7, 2022), he’ll look to do the same against former interim titleholder, Justin Gaethje.

A betting man himself, Pettis has his money on the Brazilian to retain.

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“Showtime” competes the night before Oliveira, making his second run through a Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) season. Last year acted as a strong learning lesson for the former UFC and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) kingpin and he looks to get redemption this year against those who bested him previously.

“Honestly, coming from the UFC I was like, ‘Yo, I fought killers.’ 145 [pounds], 155, and 170, I think I came with that mindset of, ‘What’re these guys gonna bring? What could they bring?’ Then here comes Clay Collard. Whoa, that dude got some skills,” Pettis said. “So for me, that’s what I want. That redemption of him and Raush [Manfio]. Me and Raush had a very close fight, I thought I won that fight, but the judges are the decision-makers on that, and big up to him, I’m proud of that dude.”

Pettis takes on Myles Price in a Lightweight contest this Fri. night (May 6, 2022) at 2022 PFL 3.


MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of the entire PFL 3 main card right here, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+. We’ll also provide quick results for the “Prelims” undercard on ESPN+, which will start streaming at 6 p.m. ET.

For more PFL 2022 news and notes click here.

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